Friday, September 24, 2010

My Measures of Time

Well, I've been asked to elaborate on my date system so I thought I might as well do it here in case anyone else is interested. Basically, Year 0 is the Year of the Magocratic Revolution when the sorcerors who had been banished 22 years before hand from Audor Towers (the only place sorcerers were allowed - and even then it was a small, dinky island) drew together the merchant class, naval class, monster hunters, and even an aristocratic turn-coat family to overthrow the old ruling class.

On an aside, there were many reasons behind the revolution: the merchants and bankers were often richer than the nobility but there was little upward mobility and debts on the nobility were sometimes forgiven by the King; vital technology like the printing press was repressed despite its use in surrounding countries due to fears of the peasant-folk getting uppity and that made them a backwater nation with increasing fears of invasion; the nobility were keen to spend freely on themselves but public works were neglected; the serf system was horribly out-dated compared to more progressive surrounding societies; charismatic sorcerers can do a lot with a few enchantments; and an idealistic vision whereby those blessed by the Gods to wield magic could protect the common man (what better divine mandate can you get!).

The country considered itself reborn at the Year of the Revolution. To denote time, years since the revolution are dated with a simple number, i.e. 92, while years prior to the revelation are depicted with a '-' sign, i.e. -92 would be 92 years before the revolution. I just wanted something a little different from using initials to denote passage of time or the other habit of simply having time go forward from some unknown start point (though that might be interesting in a fantasy society living in 9203 because that's how long the civilization has existed). So yes, woo! My dating system.

As for other areas of time, my world has clocks in it so that makes judging time by minutes and seconds easier though I need to reduce the usage of that in nautical and very rustic areas (that probably judge time by bells). The clockwork mechanisms are getting highly refined due to technology imported from Chiang Khang and thus you can get grandfather clocks. Still haven't decided on whether they have pocket watches. I'll need to research that one's timeline and then consider whether I want that to be invented during the course of my various books set in that world.


  1. Interesting implementation of clocks!

    My world doesn't have anything like that. The people of my world are taught from an early age how to read the hour from the sun's position in the sky.

    Although I've decided just now that near any bell tower is some form of sun-dial from which they can more accurately read the time for the bell.

    This is why I love discussing worlds so much. Good ideas often come about that way.

  2. I've always been a fan of clockwork mechanics and some of the kooky things they've managed to do with it in the Victorian Era so I need to pave my way towards being able to include some of that.

    And yes, too few fantasy novelists are blogging about their worlds and how they developed them.